Years ago, I was talking with a client about how things were changing on the Outer Banks. He was reminising about how he loved the way things used to be. He then said “That’s why the Lord only gives us four score.” Change is going to happen here weather we like it or not. The year 2023 is looking like the year of new businesses and old friends expanding. By our count there are five major projects moving forward at this time. Most, if not all of them should be opening in the next three to four months. So what’s new on the Outer Banks this year? Here is information on some major projects in Southern Shores and Nags Head and Kill Devil Hills.
Kill Devil Hills
The big news for the Outer Banks is Target should be opening its doors this spring or early summer.
There are extensive renovations happening at the old Kmart next to the RC Theater. That Kmart closed its doors for the last time in April of 2020, Target purchased the property, with plans originally to put in a smaller 80,000 square foot main store and lease the approximately 30,000 square feet to other retailers or restaurants.
In June of last year, though, word came that Target had scrapped their original plans and were instead going to use the entire space.
Typically Target stores are 110,000-130,000 square feet, so the new Kill Devil Hills Target will be right in that range.
As we write this in February, just across the Bypass from the soon-to-be-new-Target, the land has been cleared, there’s a lot of construction and the first WaWa convenience store on the Outer Banks should be rising from the ground soon. It’s possible this will be the first WaWa in North Carolina.
WaWa is a Philadelphia based chain of convenience stores that has been expanding aggressively for the past few years. Typically larger than a 7-11, the stores offer freshly made deli sandwiches and a wide selection of coffees.
The company, headquartered in Wawa, Pennsylvania has not indicated an opening date.
Behind the soon-to-be-new-Target there’s even more construction happening. Since 1972 The Jolly Roger Restaurant has been a true Outer Banks original. Hard to imagine for anyone who has been there, but they need more space.
Right now a 4800 square foot bar is under construction just behind the current bar. Plans call for a small covered roof area that would perfect for a drink on a summer evening.
The expansion will allow more dining room (needed) as the old bar will become part of the seating area. The new bar area will also be larger. A much needed expansion. It gets tight in the bar on popular nights.
No firm date on opening, but certainly before summer.
Construction at the Marketplace
Some new additions are coming to the Marketplace in Southern Shores. That’s the Food Lion shopping plaza just past the Wright Memorial Bridge and has been the location of our office for over 20 years!
There’s a lot of construction happening at the site with room being created for a Rack Room Shoes and a Sherwin Williams paint store. But the big news is the 24,000 square foot Marshalls that is rapidly taking shape. Considered a junior big box store because of its size, the Marshalls store is the center piece of an extensive revamping of the corner of the Marketplace that included taking out entire sections of the building. A spring opening looks realistic for Marshalls.
We’ll leave with this. The Blue Moon Grill is moving to a much larger location on the Bypass. Blue Moon has been an Outer Banks favorite since it opened its doors back in 2009. It didn’t take residents and visitors long to figure out just how good the food and atmosphere was. The problem was that, tucked away in the Surfside Plaza on the Beach Road in Nags Head, it was really small place and there was invariably a wait for a table. That should change with the new location that’s looking better and better every day. Located at S. Croatan Highway (the Bypass) and E. Dove Street the new space is slated to open this spring.
I think most people will see these changes as a positve for the beach. For those that don’t like what’s new on the Outer Banks, there is still a ton of great things to love about this place. You can still find empty beaches and beautiful water. There’s plenty of open spaces, national and state parks and protected land. The Outer Banks is still a great place to live, work and vacation.
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